To which Erica replied, "No, but I get to go with Mom!"

 

Someone else then informed her that she was going to the doctor to get a shot.  Her eyes grew wide, then she shouted, "Hurrah!  I love getting shots!"

 

Not to be outdone by his sister, Bryan excitedly proclaimed, "I want to go get shots, too!"

 

Poor Bryan was so disappointed to learn that today was not to be his day for shots. However, we encouraged him by telling him that it wouldn't be too much longer and he, too, would be able to get his shots.

 

On the drive to the doctor for her shots, Erica began to get a bit apprehensive.  I shared with her why we immunize our children.  I also told her why some people do not.  She was quite joyful on the 15-minute trek to the location.

 

Immediately upon our arrival we heard a baby scream. "Poor baby, said Erica. "It's too bad babies don't know they get a lollypop after it's all over with."  The light bulb went on.  That's why she was so excited.  She knew the pain would last but for a moment then she would get a lollypop.

 

It only took a moment for her name to be called.  As the nurses told me about the new law that all children in our state had to be immunized for Hepatitis B, I became a bit agitated with that information.  I'm not the type of parent who likes my parental authority mandated by the state.  We talked at length about the new law and I let them know, in a nice way of course, that I thought it was wrong.

 

Finally it came time for Erica to get her shots.  She smiled and said, "I know this is going to hurt.  But Mom said we would count to fifty and the pain would be over by then.  Fifty isn’t too bad." 

 

One of the nurses then said, "You can count to fifty?"

 

Erica, with her adorable expression said, "Of course I can!  I can count to one hundred!  And sometimes I can count to two hundred! But I don't need to count that high because it isn’t going to hurt that long."

 

I held her close on my lap.  As the nurse prepared her arm, I thought about crying.  But I knew that wouldn't help matters at all.  I began to count in Erica's ear.  We didn't even get to ten and the shots were finished, on that arm.  Erica with a catch in her voice said, "I didn't like that too much."